Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "New Love Canal lawsuits emerge". Named in the lawsuits is Occidental Petroleum Corp. who bought Hooker Chemical Co. the original source of 21,800 tons of industrial hazardous wastes. Further defendants include the city of Niagara Falls (U.S.A.) and "...contractors enlisted by Occidental to maintain and test the site today.". It is my understanding based upon Wikipedia and other sources that one of those contractors is none other than Conestoga Rovers (CRA), Chemtura's longtime lead consultant here in Elmira. Also keep in mind that CRA who were the architect of hydraulic containment at the Love Canal are also the architect of the seriously flawed and discredited hydraulic containment aka pump and treat here in Elmira, Ontario. The current Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC), based upon their understanding as well as the insights brought by Dr. Gail Krantzberg in a formal report to them; as well as by I would like to think yours truly and others; unanimously passed a Resolution in the spring of 2012 which categorically stated that the past and current hydraulic containment "cleanup" was inadequate. The Township of Woolwich also endorsed this CPAC Resolution unanimously. Without intentionally being inflammatory or defamatory; nevertheless this Resolution was a blunt repudiation of two decades of work by Uniroyal/Chemtura, Conestoga Rovers and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). Further fellow travellors who had gone along with the pretend cleanup via hydraulic containment included past Woolwich Township Councils and the Region of Waterloo.

CPAC made it clear that the only way to eventually guarantee a restoration of the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards was by source removal of buried wastes on the Uniroyal/Chemtura site. These subsurface wastes included DNAPLS, LNAPLS, petroleum hydrocarbons, Dioxins, DDT and much more. While by far the bulk of buried wastes are on Chemtura's site there are also other off-site areas within the Elmira Aquifers that also require source removal. Two of them have at long last been tentatively identified/confirmed as CRA /Chemtura advised CPAC a year ago that they were investigating/ remediating them via In-Situ Chemical Oxidation. That plan is now on the back burner.

This is the lesson being brought home today in the Love Canal. Companies and governments love to find inexpensive magic bullet "cleanups". They don't exist. You get what you pay for and if CRA or any other consulting firm tell you that they can more cheaply make your toxic waste headaches disappear, then be very careful. If it's too good to be true then it probably isn't true.

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